Thinks highly of…

Yesterday started off so negatively,so I was overjoyed when I was walking up the stairs to put stuff away in my office and saw a lower school teacher who told me about a student who said she thought I was great: “nice, smart, funny.” What a positive beginning to today.

***

I have a student who likes to give me a fist bump after each class. Today I ran away to go teach another class and forgot. I got to my office and found a post it on my desk saying “First Bump” and signed by the student. (I found the student later and gave him an actual fist bump.)

***

Today about a thousand previous students came back to visit (who had graduated the previous year). I loved catching up with a few of them. One was a student who I still keep in touch with over email — intermittently — and so I was thrilled to see him. We went to Starbucks (my treat) and brought the drinks back to school where we waxed intellectual for maybe 100 minutes. It was great. I may have proved the sum of angle identities for sine and cosine during our chat. Oops.

***

A number of kids found out about college today, and one in particular who I know particularly well did not get in. I spoke with this student about how they’re joining an august club with me as a member (I did not get in early, all those years ago). I shared honestly what I felt at the time, and how this all gets tied up with self-worth, and it’s just horrible. This student opened up a bit about this frustration and I’m grateful for that. Because it’s hard. Although I couldn’t “fix” it, I at least wanted their feelings to be validated.

***

It’s 8:15pm and I’m at school still… Looking over one set of the “Explore Math” submissions I’ve gotten from my precalculus students. I have so many awesome things to say about some of the things I’ve received so far, but right now I came across a student who did a 3D Visual Pattern for one of his mini-explorations. And although he didn’t have to, he solved it in two different ways. And he wrote in his second “alternative way” the following: “This is why I love math! I figured out another way to do this problem while doing it the other way! This was staring me in the face the whole time!”

Although I overuse exclamation points, these are all his! Huzzah!

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